Saturday, November 21, 2020

EIA's Monthly Dashboards -- November, 2020

EIA dashboards:

Look at the size of these Bakken wells compared to the Permian wells:

Sterling Hayden

I had not paid much attention to Sterling Hayden until I watched Dr Strangelove (again) on TCM. I didn't watch much of the movie this time; I've watched it numerous times. But the TCM presenter focused on Sterling Hayden. I was curious to learn more. Interesting story

How Slim Pickens ended up in the movie.

The Big Short

I have the DVD but have never watched it. I saw the movie for the first time tonight on Pluto TV. A very, very worthwhile film. 

From wiki:

In 2005, eccentric hedge fund manager Michael Burry discovers that the United States housing market, based on high-risk subprime loans, is extremely unstable. Anticipating the market's collapse in the second quarter of 2007, as interest rates would rise from adjustable-rate mortgages, he proposes to create a credit default swap market, allowing him to bet against market-based mortgage-backed securities, for profit.

His long-term bet, exceeding $1 billion, is accepted by major investment and commercial banks but requires paying substantial monthly premiums. This sparks his main client, Lawrence Fields, to accuse him of "wasting" capital while many clients demand that he reverse and sell, but Burry refuses. Under pressure, he eventually restricts withdrawals, angering investors, and Lawrence sues Burry. Eventually, the market collapses and his fund's value increases by 489% with an overall profit (even allowing for the massive premiums) of over $2.69 billion, with Lawrence receiving $489 million alone.

As Promised

Last night I posted a photo of my dad (and his dog) taken when he was about sixteen years old, working on his farm outside Newell, SD.

I mentioned that I would post a second photo later. Tonight is later. 

My sister found these photos at the bottom of one of her drawers; none of us -- except perhaps that one sister -- had seen these photos before. 

My father enlisted in the US Coast Guard early in WWII to avoid being drafted into the US Army. During wartime, the US Coast Guard becomes part of the US Navy. I tell Dad's story elsewhere. 

This is the photo of a farm boy on a troop carrier. It could be on the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, or the Mediterranean Sea. I'm betting the Pacific Ocean. Machts nichts. If this is 1944, dad would have been twenty-two years old.

One wonders who took the photograph, and after getting it developed how the photo ended up in Dad's hands, and then survived through the rest of the war, to somehow end up in the bottom of a drawer in a house that underwent major renovation some years ago, when much would have been thrown out. 

Early on, Dad had a huge problem with seasickness. He was about to be kicked out of the US Navy because of that but he pleaded his case in front of the ship's captain telling him that his dad (my grandfather) would be sorely disappointed if he came home before the war was over. 

Dad got over his seasickness, survived the war (in both theaters), honorably discharged, and returned back to South Dakota.

College Football Is In Shambles -- But We Already Knew That -- November 21, 2020

Re-posting from November 12, 2020:

College Football: November 12, 2020

Last night I said this year's college season was dead. It was a bit harsh the way I said it. I wasn't sure I should have posted it. But I left it up. I'm glad I did.

Overnight, this story: college football limps toward the pandemic season's conclusion. From, of all places, The WSJ. Even The WSJ knows this season has been a joke. The season is in shambles. I may sound too harsh, but sometimes the truth hurts. No sugar coating this debacle. Wait until we start seeing stories of how much money the universities and colleges lost this year.



Sunday, November 22, 2020: there more be more to this Clemson-Florida State story. The player that tested positive was a backup lineman for Clemson. On that meager excuse, Florida State said it would not play. In addition, though both teams are free December 12, 2020, Florida State would not commit to that date to play Clemson. Clearly, Florida State does not want to play Clemson this year, LOL. Link here.

Original Post

Today's Clemson - Florida Game "Postponed" At Last Minute: 
November  21, 2020

Huge loss for everyone. Incalculable. Say that fast three times 

Why? One Clemson player tested positive. Yup. One play tested positive. 

I still argue that if any team does not show up for a scheduled game, regardless of reason, forfeits the game. If neither team shows up, it goes down as a tie. 

So, when do the "call" the season? 

Can't wait to listen to talk TV on Monday.

Weekend Wrap-Up

For the archives. I really don't care.

  • Projecting Sunday's new AP top 26 rankings. Link here, November 22, 2020.
  • Refs block chainless, fuel-empty chain saw mascot from field: Read the social comments, puts things into perspective.
  • Michigan barely outlasts Rutgers. Wins in third overtime. LOL. Michigan?
  • Undefeated Liberty University finally defeated by UNC.

The ZeroHedge Article On That BofA Study On The Zillennials Has Re-Surfaced -- November 21, 2020

Remember this post from a couple of days ago?

BofA banking on Zillenials:

  • It appears that BofA told ZeroHedge to remove the story based on copyright issues. [Later: the story is now back online — November 21, 2020.]
The study is not so much about "generation" as about "age": 16-year-olds think differently  than 60-year-olds; when those same 16-year-olds turn 60, their answers to the same questions will change;
  • I "worry" about a generation that doesn't enjoy automobiles. Seriously.  
  • actually, the whole article is somewhat ridiculous; it's a snapshot in time; do the same survey twenty years from now and see how the Z generation will be much like the current boomer generation;

Maybe it was simply a glitch. The story now seems to be re-posted at ZeroHedge (same link as above):

It seems like only yesterday that Wall Street was writing massive research reports how the Millennials were going to "make a difference" in the world as a result of their "pent up" purchasing power which was just waiting to be unleashed.

Unfortunately, in retrospect the Millennials were a huge disappointment, having made absolutely no "difference" in the world (the Fed decided to make it for them) despite having created millions of ingeniously airbrushed Instragram posts.

And so, with Wall Street desperate to pin its hopes on someone who will prove to be the spending dynamo that pushes the US economy out of the doldrums - which is Millennials were supposed to be - the street has shifted it attention to those next in line, namely...

Gen Z (i.e., 20-year-olds).

In one of its massive "thematic investing" primers which doubles as a paperweight thanks to its hundred + pages of recycled content (copy a chart, replace Millennials with Gen Z, paste) Bank of America writes that "Here come the Zillennials! Gen Y is out, Gen Z is in" (which is oddly reminiscent of a similar primer the bank wrote a few years back when it said virtually the same things about Millennials).

But we digress: in an intro that will hardly endear Bank of America to the millions of 20-year-olds who are supposed to change the world, now that Gen Y has been cast into the trash bucket of demographics, the bank writes that "despite having an attention span shorter than a goldfish’s (8 seconds) Gen Z is the most disruptive generation ever and sees themselves as ‘citizens of the world.’


The only "good" thing about the article, the breakdown of the different generations by age as generally accepted.

As stated earlier, I can't accept that our Sophia, age six years old, is in the same generation as her older sisters, age 14 and 17, and certainly not in the same generation as those now 24 years of age. Demographers are working too hard to try to shoe-horn generations into 20-year periods. 

Generation Y, 25 - 39, seems to make more sense, but when the current four-year-olds are 25, their oldest Z-Generation comrades will be 45 years old. Twenty-five-year-olds will still be living at home; forty-five-year olds will be looking at buying their first home, and, maybe their first car. Big difference.

There are at least four "areas" that seem to separate the youngest Zillennials from the oldest Zillennials:

  • politics: the "coming of age" for the older ones will be the Obama-Trump-Biden era;
  • economy: the older ones have been reading about a surging market, home-buying surge, but cannot participate
  • technology/education: the older ones had no experience with remote learning
  • sports: the older ones did not have their athletic experience interrupted by any pandemic

Most of this will be behind us when the younger ones are in middle school.

Chinese Flu Watch: Three Things To Note This Week -- November 21, 2020

First, new "ranking" of states with most active new cases. Wyoming moves to second, South Dakota moves down one to third place. Most surprising? Minnesota is now fourth. Oh, oh. Link here.

Second, Sweden's second wave is seriously worse than its first phase. Ouch. Link here. Setting filter to "two days ago," Sweden jumped to #19 in world rankings with regard to number of new cases, and this is not per capita, which would make it even worse. Link here. Interesting: ZeroHedge not bothering to point this out. Doesn't fit its narrative.

Third: deaths per capita, link here, filter set to "yesterday," North Dakota remains at the #8 position. South Dakota jumps to #14. Total cases per capita, again, filter set to "yesterday, link here, North Dakota is #1 and trending toward 10% penetration (good, if one wants herd immunity). [Note: the links may take you to the same page; if so you have to re-filter for the data.] But look at this, the mask mandate put into effect in North Dakota this past week already paying dividends:

Recently Discovered

My sister came across this photograph of our dad, undated. He may have been 16 years old. You think? Maybe fourteen years old. Maybe eighteen. One wonders about the camera, the photographer. This would have been in 1936 or thereabouts outside Newell, SD, one of the remotest places on earth. then and now.

In his lifetime, he saw more changes than I will ever, ever see. He was in the US Navy during WWII and experienced much more in life than I will ever, ever experience.

It's hard to believe that at this age, and younger, he was able to handle a team of four horses. Look at the size of his left hand. I did not know, until now, he had a dog. It doesn't surprise me. I just didn't know. What makes me think that his middle school and high school years were so much more rewarding than what I experienced?

Running Out Of Fingers And Toes: Tracking The EV Manufacturers -- November 21, 2020

Running out of fingers and toes: EV manufacturers.

The WSJ has a great update on eleven EV startups chasing Tesla (linked above).

Some data points:

  • Tesla, now part of the S&P 500, or soon to be; not quite sure; don't care;
  • Tesla: more valuable than the following companies combined:
    • Toyota
    • VW (largest car manufacturer in the world?)
    • GM
    • F
  • GM: this past week said it would spend $27 billion over the next four years of development of electric and driverless vehicles
  • my hunch: driverless vehicles will be banned from school zones
The eleven start-ups covered by The WSJ, with capital raised (prices all before tax incentives):

  • Rivian: $5.35 billion in five funding rounds in the past two years
  • focus: an all-electric pickup; start at $67,500; goes on sale June, 2021
  • sales model: like that of Tesla
  • can't wait to see this compete with Ford
  • Lucid Motors, Inc: "more than $1 billion raised
  • notable backers: Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia
  • first Airs will cost $169,000; to go on sale next year
  • entry-level model promised at $77,400
  • hunch: will fail. High-end auto makers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche are rolling out their own luxury EVs
  • Lordstown Motors, Ohio; $4.2 billion
  • the Endurance: a pickup truck marketdd to commercial fleet operators; 
  • starting price: $52,500
  • has to hire 1,000 more workers and re-tool a massive plant before entering highly competitive field, including Ford's F-150 -- the best-selling vehicle in the US -- not just the best-selling pickup truck, but the best-selling vehicle
  • Ford will also target fleet buyers starting in 2022
  • Nikola; $10 billion
  • I won't waste my time on this one
  • Fisker, $4.7 billion
  • first attempt by Henrik Fisker to go EV back in 2007: went broke, as in bankrupt
  • Canoo, $2.4 billion
  • will probably go nowhere
  • NIO
  • market valuation: $66 billion
  • ES6: a five-seat SUV; $52,000
  • NIO's stock gains outpaced Tesla's share-price surge last year
  • NIO's market value eclipsed that of GM this past week;
  • sounds exciting, huh? despite a strong 2020, it posted a loss of $1.6 billion in 2019, and laid off roughly a fifth of its employees
  • got a $1 billion lifeline from Chinese state investors this past spring
  • main competitor: Tesla which just opened its first Chinese factory last year
  • Li Auto
  • market valuation: $31 billion
  • plug-in hybrid luxury SUV; uses a small gasoline engine (a lawn motor engine, I suppose) to generate power for lithium-ion batteries
  • $50,000
  • I'm excited. Not.
  • XPeng
  • market valuation: $35 billion
  • huge, deep-pocket backers: Alibaba; Chinese phone company Xiaomi; Qatar Investment Authority;
  • Faraday & Future
  • nothing known about valuation and funding
  • another luxury entrant
  • Faraday Future has spent more than $2 billion and has yet to sell a single vehicle, after originally targeting 2017 to bring first model to market
  • not interested
  • Arrival Ltd., London
  • market valuation: $5.4 billion
  • major backers: Hyundai, Kia, BlackRock, and UPS
  • small EV delivery vans
  • UPS has ordered 10,000 vans
  • Facts and comments:

    • China and India are the big markets of which I know nothing
    • US market:
      • 40% of American do not own their own homes
      • about 20% of Americans live in apartments or condos
      • minimal transparency on number of EVs actually sold
      • huge opportunities for those focused on infrastructure
      • why didn't US Post Office switch to EVs decades ago?
      • why did the US military not focus on EVs for stateside operations?

    Notes From All Over -- Saturday Edition -- November 21, 2020

    College football: evangelical Christian college is #1 in the nation. The WSJ.

    Chinese flu:

    • out of control; second wave; way worse than first wave;
    • at least two vaccines reported to have 95% efficacy; public not buying the claims;
    • time to re-look at Sweden -- not doing so well -- look at that second wave -- oh,oh;
    • active cases starting to drop in North Dakota; at least 120 nurses brought in to help staffing shortages; much of the staffing shortages self-inflicted;


    • their new chips: a revolution

    Running out of fingers and toes: EV manufacturers.


    New oil discoveries; wrap-up for 2020:

    Can women lead? Young Europeans weigh in.

    Market commentary: a stock market bubble? It's more like a fire.